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COUNTY: Hocking County
LOCATION DETAILS: The print is located up the main trail just as you start into the woods. After you walk the two boardwalks the print is on the left up the trail a little ways. The broken tree is about 15-20 feet beyond that.
NEAREST TOWN: Hocking Hills
NEAREST ROAD: State route 33
OBSERVED: My husband and I were walking a trail at Rockbridge State Nature Preserve. We stepped aside to let some fellow hikers walk through and I happened to notice on the other side of the trail (off the trail) an almost perfectly shaped large footprint. I showed my husband and we were stunned. We took the time to take some pictures and continue on. About 15-20 up the trail was a small tree that was broken in half and bent down. It appeared to be a fresh break and considering it was so close to the footprint we thought it was odd.
ALSO NOTICED: No sounds but there was the broken sapling.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just myself and my husband
OTHER STORIES: Yes, a man walking the in the same nature preserve heard done large noises I the woods and found a possible footprint on the trail.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 4 pm. The weather was sunny, hot and clear. The environment is wooded.
ENVIRONMENT: Wooded area, lots of trees
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Bea Mills:
Site investigation, per this investigator, was conducted 8/15/2018. The print in question was easily found per their submitted directions, in a low-lying, wet area. Photos of the track taken by the couple:
A cast was made for further examination.
On-site casting photo:
Photo of the cast:
Measurements are as follows:
The following can be added to this report: The trail this print was found along is located in Rockbridge State Nature Preserve in Hocking County, a light traffic preserve. The path parallels a formerly used trail before maintenance and upkeep warranted a new one. Walking from the parking lot, a gentle draw is located on the right, and an active cow pasture is immediately to the left. The terrain rises entering the park before sloping down to meet the Hocking River to the east. The forest is mainly deciduous with oaks, beech, and maple trees. The draw has seasonal water. Inside the park is a small year round stream that runs into the Hocking.
The broken tree (a native dogwood) was observed, approximately 20ft further along the trail, on the right. The break appeared to be the result of human activity, as the branch measured 5.5ft high, and contoured over the path. Adjacent areas were walked, however no further evidence was noted.
This area has a history of recent activity with a possible single track found, see Report 57774, 6 weeks earlier.
The Hocking River lies to the east, running north-south.
Small streams noted nearby.
Mixed hardwood forests and small agriculture make up the area.
Left of the trail is an adjacent cattle pasture, with both cows and bulls present.
SR 33 lies to the west.
Lake Logan lies further to the southwest.
Clearcreek is to the northwest.
About BFRO Investigator Bea Mills:
Bea Mills is an avid outdoors woman currently working in the medical field. A Certified Volunteer Naturalist for Ohio, primarily in the Hocking Hills region, and promoter of education and conservation of natural areas in Ohio.